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Providing a fundamental understanding of molten salt bulk and interfacial chemistry underpinning molten salt nuclear reactor technology

MSEE Principal Investigators

  • photo of Vyacheslav Bryantsev
    Vyacheslav Bryantsev

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    (865) 576-4272

    Performing ab initio and classical molecular dynamics simulations to unravel structural, thermodynamic, and kinetic principles of ion-pairing and coordination that govern the chemistry of molten salts in bulk and liquid/solid interfaces.

  • photo of Karen Chen-Wiegart
    Karen Chen-Wiegart

    Stony Brook University,
    Brookhaven National Laboratory

    (631) 632-4537

    Understanding the interaction between molten salts and metallic materials, including the effects of impurities on corrosion phenomena with synchrotron X-ray microscopy and spectroscopy.

  • photo of Sheng Dai
    Sheng Dai

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    (865) 576-7307

    An internationally-recognized expert in molten salts and ionic liquids, Dai is coordinating the synthesis and characterization of molten salt systems and assisting in organizing Thrust I activities.

  • photo of Eric Dooryhee
    Eric Dooryhee

    Brookhaven National Laboratory

    (631) 344-2409

    Employing current and developing operando capabilities of the high-energy diffraction / scattering synchrotron beamlines to investigate molten salt structure and in-situ corrosion in molten salts.

  • photo of Anatoly Frenkel
    Anatoly Frenkel

    Brookhaven National Laboratory,
    Stony Brook University

    (631) 344-3013

    Investigating metal ion and nanoparticle speciation in molten salts and their structural, electronic and thermal properties using in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy and machine learning methods.

  • photo of Ruchi Gakhar
    Ruchi Gakhar

    Idaho National Laboratory


    Preparing and characterizing molten salt systems containing transition metals, lanthanides and actinides, and applying structural (X-ray) and spectroscopic (X-ray, UV-Vis and Raman) techniques to deduce metal ion speciation.

  • photo of Simerjeet Gill
    Simerjeet Gill

    Brookhaven National Laboratory

    (631) 344-5633

    Studying corrosion at molten salt-metal interfaces in electrochemical environments using synchrotron-based diffraction and spectroscopy methods and performing multi-modal in-situ corrosion studies (XRF, DPC, CDI) with sample systems compatible with both the NSLS-II HXN beamline and ETEM at CFN.

  • photo of Lingfeng He
    Lingfeng He

    Idaho National Laboratory


    Performing studies of irradiated metals using advanced microscope techniques to understand the radiation effects.

  • photo of Gregory P. Horne
    Gregory P. Horne

    Idaho National Laboratory


    Conducting steady-state molten salt radiation chemistry experiments with and without the presence of actinide elements at INL and handling the manipulations for actinide-molten salt pulse radiolysis experiments at BNL’s LEAF facility.

  • photo of Alexander Ivanov
    Alexander Ivanov

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    ORNL Research Scientist I

    (865) 576-1753

    Developing and applying X-ray/neutron scattering techniques to investigate ion pairing, coordination, and real-space dynamics of molten salt systems.

  • photo of Jay LaVerne
    Jay LaVerne

    University of Notre Dame

    (574) 631-5563

    Examining the effects of radiation on molten salts and interfaces of molten salts with metals and metal oxides, using gamma rays and helium ions (the latter to mimic alpha particles).

  • photo of Edward Maginn
    Edward Maginn

    University of Notre Dame

    (574) 631-5687

    Using molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulations to predict liquid structure as well as bulk thermodynamic and transport properties of molten salt systems, including force field development, algorithm design and execution of the simulations/analysis studies.

  • photo of Shannon Mahurin
    Shannon Mahurin

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    (865) 241-3417

    Using spectroscopy, neutron and x-ray scattering to understand bulk molten salt structure, with a specific emphasis on pair distribution function analysis to examine intermediate and long-range order.

  • photo of Claudio J. Margulis
    Claudio J. Margulis

    University of Iowa

    (319) 335-0615

    Conducting classical and quantum molecular dynamics calculations with the objective of computing X-ray scattering spectra of molten salts, reactivity of excess charges, and calculations to describe the structure and dynamics of molten salts at interfaces.

  • photo of Simon M. Pimblott
    Simon M. Pimblott

    Idaho National Laboratory

    (208) 526-7499

    Participating in radiation chemical and redox experiments and developing computational models for the radiation chemistry and redox kinetics in molten salts that incorporate the experimentally-derived yields of primary radiolytic transients and their reactions with metal ion solutes, and reactions between intermediate product species.

  • photo of Benjamin Ocko
    Benjamin Ocko

    Brookhaven National Laboratory

    (631) 344-4299

    Applying synchrotron X-ray scattering methods to study molten salt interfaces and developing high temperature, molten salt surface X-ray scattering cells for these challenging experiments.

  • photo of Kotaro Sasaki
    Kotaro Sasaki

    Brookhaven National Laboratory

    (631) 344-3446

    Performing in-situ studies on interfacial and corrosion processes in molten salts using newly-developed electrochemical cells coupled with ETEM and synchrotron-based multi-modal X-ray techniques.

  • photo of James Wishart
    James Wishart

    Brookhaven National Laboratory

    (631) 344-4327

    Conducting pulse radiolysis kinetics measurements of reactions in molten salts, including the yields of primary radiolytic transients and their reactions with metal ion solutes, reactions between intermediate product species and the kinetics and redox energetics of nanoparticle formation.